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An Analysis of the Election – By an 11th Grader!

As someone who has always been interested in politics- indeed, I remember being fascinated by party symbols and slogans even in 2014, when I was six years old- the 2024 elections were a much-anticipated event. My parents- unfaltering in their encouragement but nonetheless tired of my nonstop talk of obscure constituencies- suggested in April that I focus all my interest in politics towards creating an ‘poll prediction’ of sorts- a constituency by constituency analysis of what I believed would be the results of the election.

Before I get into the nitty gritty of my experience, a disclaimer - I am but one individual, and while I have made this entire analysis to the best of my ability with regards to the information and resources I had at the time, I did not have the ability to conduct any on the ground surveys or polls, as most pollsters do. But the purpose of my analysis was not to get the exact numbers right; the purpose of my analysis was to develop a deeper understanding of this country, to learn about each and every one of the 543 constituencies and to develop a new appreciation for India’s vast cultural diversity. And now, onto the details.

The Result

The results of the 2024 elections were nothing short of astounding. In the leadup to June 4th, all the debates centered around how strong the BJP’s majority would be - not whether they would win or not. Most reputed pollsters predicted that the NDA would cross the much-touted 400 mark, with the opposition being relegated to under 140. The results were, therefore, a complete shock- the BJP falling short of even a simple majority, and the opposition nearly reaching 240 seats. The exit polls were completely off the mark.

My analysis had predicted around 300-330 seats for the NDA, with the INDIA bloc getting around 200, and the Congress around 90. Now, the actual results are out for all to see- the NDA got around 290 seats, with the opposition getting around 240. Off the mark slightly, but closer to the actual result than most pollsters - with the exception of Dainik Bhaskar and Yogendra Yadav.

The Process

My efforts began in April, and at the beginning, I was unsure of how exactly to present my analysis. In the end, I decided to start with smaller states like Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand, compiling the list of the winners in 2009, 2014 and 2019 in their constituencies as well as their margins of victory. After that, I began to search for information on the issues of each constituency, and the chances of the candidates. I then repeated this process for all 543 constituencies in the country.

Of course, a lot can change in 5 years, and because of that it would have been foolhardy to rely simply on the data of past Lok Sabha results. In West Bengal for example, the TMC performed far better in the 2022 assembly elections as compared to the 2019 general elections- a feat which they repeated in 2024 general elections. And in Maharashtra, the formation of the strong three-party MVA-alliance had made the race neck and neck- and I predicted around 30 seats for the opposition, which ended up being the actual result.

So a lot of factors had to be considered. Local anti-incumbency against sitting MPs, organizational strength, the success of the party campaign issues, coordination between allied parties on the ground level, the popularity of various leaders and whether votes were being cast on the basis of Prime Ministerial or the local candidate- these were all issues I tried to factor into my analysis. 

In the end, happily, my analysis was fairly accurate. While my individual constituency predictions were correct for 413 out 543 seats- a strike rate of 76%- my overall numbers were only off by some 25 odd seats. My prediction was nearly a 100% accurate in states like Maharashtra, Jharkhand, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Bihar, Karnataka, Kerala, Punjab, Assam, Haryana, Goa and Uttarakhand. The states where my predictions were most off-the-mark were Odisha, Andhra Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh (although I don’t think anyone could have predicted the astonishing result of India’s biggest state).

In the end though, this exercise of mine was not about predicting the numbers- although I got close, there was always a good chance that I’d be off, considering my lack of resources and ability to conduct on-the-ground surveys. The purpose of this exercise was to understand the intricacies of each state and each constituency in this vast, diverse country and gain a glimpse into the amazing worlds each of the 543 seats hold. And in that regard, this little analysis of mine has undoubtedly been a tremendous success!

Written by Siddhant Mohod

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